Despite his being somewhat of a free spirit, Marc Savard
is a real creature of habit on game day.
The morning before each contest, the potent Bruins point producer prepares three sticks, taping them and painting them (yes, painting them), the very same way, previous to every Bruins game.
"I’ve just always done that," said Savard, a-matter-of-factly. "I think everybody does that, pretty much."
Maybe, but not everybody treats their armament with such care. Savard lays them out in front of his locker as if they were in a store display -- the same way, every game, all season.
"I always tape the knobs and leave the blades for before the game," said Savard, who also paints his blades jet black -- he hates to see anything besides black when he looks down. "When I get here tonight I will tape the blades."
On the knob end of his stick, written on the tape (gold of course) go the letters (in black) Z - T - I.
"Those are my kids’ initials, there," explained Savvy. "I’ve always had them."
ZTI stands for Zachary, Tyler and Isabella.
As you can imagine, Savard is pretty pumped for most hockey games, but tonight, in particular, there is a special reason for his excitement.
"They have good offensive players so we have to try and get the puck into their zone," said Savard, who also admitted, "(Joe Sakic) has always been one of my idols."
"Growing up, I watched him a lot.
"And…I thought he was the best player in the NHL," said Savard.
Savard, of course, was thinking of Sakic’s importance to the power house Avalanche teams of the late 1990’s and Team Canada.
"Especially the year when they won the Cup and then the Olympics…he was the best player in the NHL, for sure."
"He’s someone I have always looked up to," said Savard. "But you can’t get caught watching him today."
Of course, we’ll all be watching Savard tonight as he continues his fine season for Boston.